Thursday, January 17, 2013

Global Warming and the Mormons


It seems that there are only two positions on Global Warming: those who believe in it as intensely as a new religion, and those who don't believe in it at all.

The first group are those who will do almost anything to promote the idea that the Earth is warming up as a result of human activity, specifically that the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from organic material long buried in the earth, such as coal, oil, and natural gas will cause cataclysms of Biblical proportions and destroy the Earth.

The more carbon dioxide, the faster and better trees grow.
Many of these people have based businesses, politics and, their  entire lives on trying to stop the release of carbon dioxide at any cost, no matter whether it destroys our economies or costs us our freedoms. According to them the world is on the verge of disaster and any methods or activities are justified in stopping the production of carbon dioxide. Many articles have even called the gas poisonous.

On the other side are those who think Global Warming is all a ruse to gain political control by one conspiracy group or the other, or to destroy our culture, or to take over the country or manipulate the masses, or some other conspiracy idea.

Both of these views remind me of the religious wars of the middle ages.  One religion would swoop down and try to force people into their camp, only to be driven away by another. Both sides committed lies, fraud and atrocities. Both were blind to the truth.

Today both sides of the Global Warming controversy have their media specialists and political advocates quoting one fact after the other. For every warming fact there seems to be an anti-warming fact. At the present the Global Warming promoters have lost some ground, and the anti-warming forces push every detail they can get.

So where do the Mormons stand in all this?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints takes no sides in any political discussion, including this one.

But where do individual members of the Church stand? From my point of view most of them are with the rest of the population. Those who think the Earth is warming are with the liberal group, its an evil that must be stopped.

The others are with the conservatives who think  all Global Warming talk fake. Most Mormons I know are in this second camp.

Personally, I don't know either way what is happening, but I do know something about the teachings, history and doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and this knowledge has led me to arrive at some conclusions that I have never heard anywhere else. And  these are different from both the Global Warming community and also different from the anti-warming groups, whether Mormon or non-Mormon.

In 1846, when the first Mormon Pioneers were on their way west, Brigham Young told Jim Bridger, a mountain trapper, they were thinking of settling in the Great Salt Lake Basin. Bridger said they couldn't grow crops there and even wagered that no corn would ever grow because it was too cold.

Brigham Young countered that the Lord would temper the elements for the sake of the Church members. Or in other words that God would warm it up.

Here, it would seem, that Mormons should be in favor of Global Warming.

It's a good thing.

Then we have the liberal, tree hugging, Green, anti-carbon dioxide  bunch, probably very few Mormons, in this group. They love trees, sitting in them so they can't be cut, and even driving spikes into trees in logging areas so a lumberjack with a chainsaw could be killed by a flying shard of steel.

They protest that the  rain forests are being leveled and oppose clear cutting regardless of the regrowth nature of the trees and replanting activities of the lumber companies. I have bought over a thousand redwood seedlings, and the only places that grow them in any large quantity are the timber companies' nurseries. (You'd think that people from the Green Movement would grow tree seedlings.)

But the Green movement's anti-carbon dioxide position is the most wondrous stretch of the truth I have ever heard. They call carbon dioxide a nursery gas, which it is, but then they speak of it in terms of poisons.

Above, an Advertisement to induce nurserymen to buy carbon dioxide generators.
Actually, nurserymen pump carbon dioxide into their nurseries to accelerate the green growth of plants. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen which all animals need. The more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of plants, the more and faster they grow, and the more oxygen they produce.

Here it would seem that the Green Movement should be in favor of more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, more green growing things.

It's a good thing.

And then there's the Tenth Article of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which says "We believe.... that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory," which means to me that the earth will warm up and  the growth of vegetation will increase which will keep the Earth from getting too warm, and after a few years of change, the Earth will balance out the hotter places with the colder places, and it will become a paradise.

So if you really love trees, and you really enjoy green vegetation, and if you really believe that the Earth will again become a paradise, then  enjoy the warm weather and the blind controversy of the uninformed or under-informed, and the Earth will warm whether it's because we are using the fossil fuels and re-releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere,  or whether the sun is releasing more energy and warming the Earth, or whether God is doing it in some magical way.
 
It's a good thing.